2017 MBAs To Watch: Madison Seamens, Emory University (Goizueta)

Madison Seamens

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

“California girl living in the South with a passion for travel, cooking, and adventure.”

Age: 27

Hometown:  Pacific Palisades, California

Fun fact about yourself: I have a half-Corgi, half-German Shepherd puppy named Nash, after Nashville where my husband and I met.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Vanderbilt University, BA Economics

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Hall Capital Partners –  Portfolio Management Analyst / Raymond James-The Atlanta Consulting Group –  Performance Analyst

Where did you intern during the summer of 2016? Kimberly-Clark Professional- Roswell, GA, Marketing Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? UPS – Atlanta, GA, Senior Marketing Analyst

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:  Woodruff Scholar; Dean’s List; Goizueta Women In Business (GWIB)- VP of Marketing; Goizueta Ambassadors; volunteer at Project Open Hand and PAWS

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Last semester, I worked on a self-directed study for the National Black MBA Association. Over the course of three months, we learned the ins-and-outs of the organization and conducted interviews, focus groups, and surveys to determine what their members wanted from the organization and how it could improve its programming. We created a 5-year strategic plan complete with recommended tactics. I presented our plan to the steering committee, and passed on the implementation phase to another group of students.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? During my internship at Kimberly-Clark Professional, I analyzed consumer reports and surveys as well as profit margins for the top selling KleenGuard product. I recommended investment in a larger, more comfortable apparel pattern which would increase market share by 12%. After my final presentation, the project was prioritized and will be executed by the second quarter of 2017. Considering this was my first hands-on experience in marketing, I was very proud to have come up with a product strategy that will be implemented.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA professor was Professor JB Kurish who taught our core Finance class. He is very engaging and intelligent, and makes every class fun. He takes care in making sure his students understand the content and do well.

What was your favorite MBA Course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? My favorite MBA course was called Negotiations, which was taught by Dr. Erika Hall. Every wee,, we individually or as a team negotiated a different case. The biggest insight I gained was the importance of preparing before any negotiation. If you go into a negotiation prepared with a target or goal, as well as a reservation price and BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement), you will be more confident and have better results.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Goizueta because of the community of people. When I first visited the campus, I shadowed a first-year student and was able to meet dozens of students and faculty who were very friendly and encouraging. Everyone seemed to know each other, and that remains true to this day. Goizueta has a small but mighty community of incredible people who empower each other to be future business leaders.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? I enjoy the flexibility you are given to take the classes you want. You can choose to take a class that is helpful for your career, or you can take a class on a topic you find fascinating but have no experience with. The importance is placed on understanding and comprehending rather than cramming to get a good grade.

What was the most surprising thing about business school for you? The most surprising thing for me was how difficult it was to juggle classwork, extracurricular activities, and leadership roles. What was also surprising, however, was how quick my classmates were to help me when I was struggling to keep up.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Make sure to visit and meet some of the students and faculty! Be yourself, and articulate the reasons why you want to go to Goizueta and why you will be an asset to the school.

What is the biggest myth about your school? I think the biggest myth is that students who graduate from Goizueta only stay in the Southeast because of Goizueta’s connection with the many companies in the region. Although many students do benefit from this and choose to stay in Atlanta (think Coca Cola, Delta, UPS to name a few), Goizueta opens the doors for its students to work around the country.  Our Career Management Center truly helps the students achieve their career goals, wherever that may be.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I know it may sound cheesy, but I honestly don’t think I have any regrets! I have made countless lifelong friends, taken interesting classes, and secured an amazing full-time job in Atlanta!

 Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I most admire Jamie Gregor. She came in as one of the youngest in the class, but has taken rigor (one of Goizueta’s core values) to a whole new level. She has been on Dean’s List every semester while juggling numerous leadership roles. She also led many volunteer trips as VP of Community Outreach within GBA (Graduate Business Association).

 I knew I wanted to go to business school when…my brother explained to me all of the different career paths open to you. He changed career paths when he went to business school, and encouraged me to do the same since I was unsure about continuing my career in private wealth management.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…still working in private wealth management, but likely working on the client-facing side rather than investment research. It took me about four years to realize that finance is not my passion, but I have always been consumer-focused.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I would integrate the first and second-year classes early on in the year with the addition of a fun social event or short weekend trip.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I want to be a marketing executive of a well-respected company. I want to have a leadership role while also still having hands-on work with brand management and marketing analytics.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I want to thank my husband for my success. Before we were married, I got my first job offer in San Francisco, and he was extremely supportive even though he would be in Nashville. He then encouraged me to take the risk of leaving my steady job to go to business school and pursue a career in marketing.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would like to be remembered as the eternal optimist who spent as much time learning out of the classroom as in the classroom.

Favorite book: The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Favorite movie or television show: Shawshank Redemption

Favorite musical performer: St. Lucia

Favorite vacation spot: Istanbul, Turkey

Hobbies? Cooking, running with my dog, tennis, beach volleyball, reading novels

What made Madison such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

“Madison entered Goizueta as a Woodruff Scholar. That alone shows what a marvelous student she is. She also maintained – and expanded – many volunteer efforts. Madison is one of those people who will be successful in whatever she does because she embraces community and focuses on ways to make a true, lasting impact.”

Brian Mitchell

Associate Dean and Director of Full-Time MBA Programs

Emory University, Goizueta Business School



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